Thursday, October 05, 2006

Earth Album

Earth Album had me clicking all over the world, especially as it integrated youTube and Flickr. The video linkage just shows a taste of how the geographic navigational metaphor is so easy and fun to use, and thus powerful. I found myself clicking on African countries and peering onto their culture through uploaded music videos. A love song sung in Swahili, where the young singer is gangster'd out in the latest American sportwear gear. Maps mashups keep getting sweeter.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A wee interview with Michel about P2P

Ok, so it is not technically perfect, some err's and umm's, a rushed filming as we only realized we had a small window to find a camera and shoot something (for Robin Good) before he had to go to Denmark. I managed to get Michel to answer some questions that relate to the "ordinary person" (where possible) rather than sticking to terms and phrases that only social scientists/politicians/geeks understand. Still, there's a lot of juicy inspirational stuff in here.

Small aside
P2P Foundation blog in French will launch beginning November, led by Remi Sussan author of "Utopies Posthumaines" and journalist/writer at large.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tricking humans into doing some of the heavy lifting

"Abstract tasks like image recognition are trivial for humans, but continue to challenge even the most sophisticated computer programs. This talk introduces a paradigm for utilizing human processing power to solve problems that computers cannot yet solve. Traditional approaches to solving such problems focus on improving software. I advocate a novel approach: constructively channel human brainpower using computer games. For example, the ESP Game, described in this talk, is an enjoyable online game -- many people play over 40 hours a week -- and when people play, they help label images on the Web with descriptive keywords. These keywords can be used to significantly improve the accuracy of image search. People play the game not because they want to help, but because they enjoy it."

by Lecture by Luis von Ahn: Assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University